Pancake Rocks – New Zealand

Making our way down the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.  We had just left West Port and were making our way to meet up with some friends in Greymouth.

Along the Coastal Road, we made a stop to see the famous Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki.  These limestone formations are believed to be 30 million years old.  Earthquakes raised the coastal cliffs high above sea level, and the wind and sea etched out the beautiful formations seen today.

At the right time of day the sea and wind work together to push the waves through blowholes.  Which visitors can enjoy the sound and sight.  As we were just passing through, our day trip through the park was short and we did not get to see the blowholes in action.  Though we did enjoy the Pancake Rock formations.

You can park your vehicle at the restaurant and DOC station across the street from the park.  There is a short walk to the coastal view and Pancake Rocks.


Along the path there are information plaques about the native bush.  I got good at spotting Kawakawa while on the NZ trails.  A native taught us that when making Kawakawa tea you should go for the ones that have holes in them.  If the bugs are eating them, then they are ready to be used!

It was a short walk before starting to see the the multi layered rock formations. First through the bush, then flax fields, over bridges and onto the cliffs of Pancake Rocks.





I was amazed by the formations I saw!  We had great lighting as the sun was setting over the sea and gave us beautiful, warm hues.


The walk through Pancake Rocks is a nice one. It offers may different views, places to sit and take pictures!


My husband and I goofed off on the trail back to the car.  I sometimes get surprised by the vegetation that grows on the coast.  I guess, coming from the Midwest of the USA, I had a narrow view of coastal images (i.e. sandy beaches and waves).


This short stop was well worth the visit on our trip down the West Coast of New Zealand.  We arrived in Greymouth that night.  Towns are few and far between down the West Coast, but that is part of its’ charm.  I would highly recommend adding Pancake Rocks to your itinerary when touring the South Island of New Zealand!  You won’t be disappointed by the visit.

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